It's all uphill

Bear Valley Bike's Reggie Lamson (15) is chased by David Stowell during the SoutheridgeUSA cross country mountain bike race Jan. 26 in Fontana. The two changed leads five times before Lamson crossed the finish line in first place.

While most of Big Bear is dreaming of skiing and snowboarding, there is a small group of athletes who are pedaling the trails. The 2013 competitive mountain bike racing season began in early January, and Big Bear cyclists are bringing home the hardware.

Round two of the Southridge USA’s Shimano Winter Series was Jan. 26 in Fontana. When the races began, the weather conditions were perfect. Twentynine minutes into the 1-hour, 30-minute race the rain started, turning the course into a mud bath.

Bear Valley Bike’s Derek Hermon was second in the vet pro division after setting a steady pace. Hermon pressed hard on the last of three laps, coming within a minute of first-place finisher Allan Lambramoise of Big Bear. Steve Kinney of Steven K Sports finished third.

The exper men’s 51-58 class was up for grabs until the third and final lap. Bear Valley Bike’s Reggie Lamson took an early lead over David Stowell. Five minutes into the race, Stowell moved into first as the cyclists reached the first sustained climb of the race. Lamson regained the lead 20 minutes later only to lose it again to Stowell. Just before the start of the final lap, Lamson passed Stowell and kept the lead all the way to the finish line for the victory.

Steve Engelgau of Bear Valley Bikes went back and forth against fellow sport men’s 59-plus cyclists Ed Mundy. Engelgau finished second just 12 seconds out of first place. Bear Valley Bikes’ Bobby Bondurant competed in the largest field of the day in the sport men’s 51-59 division. Bondurant finished 10th overall in the division.

In downhill competitition, Chains Required rider Scott Durkin finished fourth in the expert men 27-34 division while Craig Harvey of Sugarlaof was 12th in the pro men’s division.

The winter series continues with races in Fontana Feb. 9-10, 23-24 and March 9-10.

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